And so they pressed around Him for to hear
This reminds me of mail call. Everyone who was ever away from home in the military knows how important “Mail Call” was to a soldier. In the days before the internet and email, before the easy access of cell phones, the humble hand-delivered envelope passed out at “Mail-Call” was the only link to loved ones far away.
The cry of “Mail Call” in basic training drew a crowd of homesick soldiers craning their necks to see the pile or handful of letters that might contain news from home, words of love, or a word of encouragement.
Some letters were enveloped as much with perfume as they were with paper. Such an aroma would often trigger a flurry of hoots and hollers and good-natured laughter. Sometimes the sight of little hearts or X’s drawn on the outside were a teasing prelude to romantic words on the inside, and these hieroglyphics of love would also cause a stir.
Everyone was interested in “news from home.” These moments would remind us that there was “another world” beside the difficult one we were in at the moment. Millions of soldiers and sailors “gone off to war” have known the emotions stirred up by the announcement that mail had arrived and what we knew as “Mail Call.”
People pressed around Jesus to “hear the word of God.” There is something about the Word of God that still draws people. The Word of God reminds us that there is “another” world and that this world is not our home. There is something about the Word of God that reminds us that we are not forgotten and that we are loved. There is something about hearing the Word of God that is like Mail-Call. There are times when there is a word for us personally. There are times when the preacher delivers the Word like someone reading the headlines and articles from a newspaper printed in heaven, far away. There are other times when hearing God’s Word is like getting a personal message addressed to us. It’s news from home.
GIs never missed Mail-Call if they could help it. Likewise, those in love with God open the Bible every day as if they are about to receive a wonderful word from their home in heaven, written by God’s own hand.